What does it cost to dominate mobile in banking these days?
With consumer behavior shifting dramatically from branch networks to online and mobile channels, the stakes have never been higher for financial services organizations. Brett King, in his book Bank 3.0, believes that banking will be primarily a mobile and online endeavor in as little as just two years.
We know mobile is important to banks, but let’s get back to what it costs…
Bank of America (BoA) apparently believes it costs a lot. BoA reduced the number of branches by 6% to 5,151 and grew their mobile user base by 20% to 14.4 million compared to a year ago. They are reducing their costs by cutting back on the more expensive service channel (branches) in order to serve and meet customers in their preferred (and more cost-effective) channel.
So, how much is a lot?
Here are BoA CEO Brian Moynihan’s own words during their earnings call last week:
“So we have probably a half a billion dollars we put in the online mobile platform across the last three or four years, and we’ll continue to invest at that rate.”
Half a billion already invested and another half billion to come. How does another bank, whether large, regional or credit union, compete with that? Of course, it could help to have that kind of budget but the stark reality is that even other large banks don’t have those resources available. But here’s the secret: regardless of how much money you throw at it, customer satisfaction with the mobile experience can’t be bought…it has to be earned.
The key to competing (and winning) is to make smart, confident decisions based on a true understanding of customer needs and expectations. When faced with a long list of business requirements or features in your product backlog, let your customers guide you in prioritizing the improvements that will truly drive mobile innovation. It starts with having a system of metrics that includes robust customer experience analytics that allows you to continuously measure and analyze your mobile experience (as well as benchmark them against both industry competitors and mobile leaders across different industries) so you can iterate and accelerate your mobile development cycle to keep up with rising consumer expectations.
Consumers’ expectations in the mobile banking channel are not just being set by singular mobile experiences – they are being set across a multitude of mobile interactions across channels and it takes a multichannel measurement that can help track a customer’s journey across the experience.
The mobile experience will be, if it isn’t already, a key driver for acquisition and retention for financial institutions. More so than any other challenge facing banks today, mobile success will determine a firm’s overall success in the very near future.Categories: Financial Services